Sometimes when you’re in bed after a long day with a bowl of popcorn, it’s hard to find the motivation to get up and get moving at the gym. To help you get that extra motivation, each week I will share my interview with a must-follow South Asian female fitness guru. Check them out on Instagram and grab some unique tips for starting your own fitness journey!
Instagram: @punita_mangat | All photos are courtesy of Punita Mangat
What first got you into fitness?
For me, it wasn’t the simple “I want to get healthy” or “I want to look good.” [Fitness] was very restricted and frowned upon in my household. When I went through some tough personal times, I found fitness as an outlet. When I hit rock bottom, I realized the only way to go is up. I got out of my comfort zone, joined a gym, and it ended up being self-therapy. Fit mind, fit body, lead to fit life. Fitness has been a stepping stone for finding mental and physical freedom.
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What inspired you to share your fitness stories?
When I started posting what I was doing and getting responses like “me too” or “you’re motivating me,” I couldn’t stop! I realized that others need the motivation. What I was doing for myself became a portal for others. This method of my private life being posted was disapproved by some, but I kept going and I’m so happy that I did. When a woman starts a powerful life-changing journey and is doing what she wants to, sometimes that costs friends, people, relationships and material things. But you gotta choose your way anyway in the end.
What is your favorite healthy meal and your cheat meal?
Anything with bread.
HIIT with strength and Stretching and Mobility. Favorite individual exercise: squats.
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What advice would you give to someone starting out their fitness journey?
Make peace with the journey and accept that it takes time. Don’t get discouraged and memorize why you started. Do it for yourself. And last but not least, remember what you feed your body – food/fuel/nutrition wise is 70%, so clean up your plate! Fuel yourself properly, find a supportive girl gang and have fun.
Fitness is freedom.
Karishma Sharma is a Bollywood Dance Fitness Instructor based in Minneapolis, MN. Her biggest hobby, her passion, and her dedication are all to fitness. She is also a dancer and is passionate about spreading her culture to those who may not be familiar. She aspires to keep her love of fitness alive each day in everything she does!